With the vibrant and bright colorations, tetra fish has become one of the most popular fish that people want in their home aquarium. Tetras are small freshwater fish that come from the Characidae family. Tetra fish have diverse groups consisting of over 1100 species in this family. Therefore, fish lovers across the world have many different options to choose from. You cannot just buy your tetra fish and dump it in a tank that already has a fish in it as there are both good and bad as tetra fish tank mates.
As tetra fish are small and peaceful in nature, you cannot add a big predator fish in your tank as their tank mates. Likewise, tetra fish can nip the fins of veiltail type of fish so, avoid slow-moving fish having long fins like the fancy goldfish. Go for the fish that are peaceful and have the same body size as that of tetra fish like guppies, mollies, corydoras catfish, platies, rasbora fish, and so on.
The most notable factor of tetra fish apart from their appearance is their compatibility. Not just with different water parameters but also regarding the tank mates. Tetras are shoaling fish, which means that you need to keep them in at least a group of 6. This can be a plus point if you like to keep your aquarium social and busy.
If you are looking for a good and compatible tank mates for your tetras, this article will provide you with all the suitable options. Suitable companion fish for tetra can be tank mates of the same species as well as other different species.
I have listed and described a few of the tank mates for tetras in this article.
Choosing the Best Tank Mates for Tetra Fish
When you choose tank mates for your tetras, the first thing you need to ensure that fish are relaxed and enjoying their mates. Sometimes there can be cases of violent behavior from other species, including bullying. Tetras may also show signs of fin nipping when stressed. In case you don’t know what fin nipping is; it’s a terminology used for an action where fish rip or tear fins of others fish.
Therefore, you need to maintain the water conditions as preferred by all the species on your aquarium. The species should match the same energy level as your tetras as they are quite active fish and should have some personality.
Some of the other factors that you should consider before choosing tank mates for tetras are:
- Require similar water conditions as tetra fish, including temperature, pH level, hardness, etc.
- Ensure that other mates are not violent to your tetras and do not bully them. This goes the same for tetras as well. Make sure that tetras do not bully other species too.
- Keep the species having similar sizes and body structure so that your tetras do not feel intimidated by their tank mates.
- Make sure that the species you add to a tetra tank are active swimmers so that they match the energy of tetras.
- The tank mates for tetras should also have a similar diet with them
If you do not consider these aspects, then your fish cannot thrive and will not have a healthy life in the tank. This can cause the death of your species as well.
12 Best Tetra Fish Tank Mates
Here are top fish that are convenient as tank mates for your tetra fish
If you want more vibrant color aquariums mixing well with tetras appearance, you can keep guppies in your tank. Guppies are colorful and beautiful colored fish that have a peaceful nature.
The guppies also need similar conditions as tetras hence, making them ideal tank mates for tetras. These fish also are very easy to handle. Like tetras, guppies also love a good hiding space in the tank. Therefore, the aquarium needs to have densely planted vegetation as well as darker rocks or gravel as substrates.
Even if you are a beginner fish keeper, you can easily take care of both guppies as well as tetras. Both tetras and guppies are very hardy fish, so it will be very easy to house them.
African Dwarf Frogs
Frogs might seem an odd choice as tank mates for tetras. However, African dwarf Frogs are not just typical frogs. These frogs are pure aquatic creatures and do not need to live in any drylands.
These frogs are tiny species, so you will not have any problems with them eating your tetras. Most frogs produce more waste than fish, but African Dwarf fish produce very little waste in comparison. Therefore, you will need to install small filters adequate for both tetras and the frog.
If you do not want any drama in your tank, then mollies are the best choice for you. Mollies can adapt to a broad temperature range as well as tolerate changes in the aquarium better than other aquatic species.
Mollies do not need frequent attention; you just need to provide them with a proper diet. This will not be difficult as mollies also take flake foods, live or frozen foods, along with supplementary fresh vegetables like tetras.
For decoration, you only need to add some vegetation; even artificial plants also work for mollies. You can use gravel as a substrate, which is fine even for tetras.
Apple snails are also called Golden Apple Snails. Keeping snails in your tetra tank will require very little expense and care. In addition, these snails also help to keep your aquarium tank clean by nibbling on debris developed in your tank.
These snails have a golden orb shell, which looks beautiful. Not just that, apple snails are much active than other aquatic snails. You can keep these snails if you are planning to keep a large tank. Hence, if you wish to add variety to your tank, these snails will be a good choice.
One thing that you need to consider is that these species are great eaters. Therefore, you need to be careful when feeding the tetras and the snails. Sometimes if your tetras are not quick, the snail can eat their food as well.
In short, people call Corydoras Catfish Cory Cats. Cory cats have tiny whiskers; hence, the name catfish. These catfish have endearing personalities with alluring appearance. These fish only grow up to a few inches and do not create any ruckus in the tank.
These fish generally keep to themselves and have a friendly nature. This means that these fish will get along with your tetras very well.
Cory cats also fall under one of the hardy fish. Even for the beginner fish keeper, as Cory can adapt to different water ranges, they are easily manageable.
As these catfish are also scavengers, they mostly like to clean up the tank. The fish can pick up leftover foods from the bottom of the tank. Hence, keeping these catfish can help prevent constant cleaning up the uneaten fish food.
Another one of the scavenger tank-cleaning fish is Plecostomus. This fish can grow up to 24 inches, but they do not disturb other fish, so you will not have any problem. Plecos are bottom dwellers that mostly eat algae in the tank. However, this diet is not enough, and you will need to provide them with nutritional foods as well.
Plecos can feel like hiding sometimes. Hence, you will need to provide them with some kind of hiding spots or caves for these fish to settle down whenever they feel antisocial.
Platy fish and tetra fish get along great in your aquarium. These fish have very similar character traits with tetra fish. Both tetras and platyfish are active fish and are very social.
Keeping Platy fish in a tank can help your aquarium be livelier. As Platy fish are also shoaling fish like tetras, you will also need to purchase them in groups.
Another similar aspect of Platy fish and tetras is that they have an appealing appearance. The coloration of these fish can bring out the attractiveness of your aquarium.
Not only that, you will find both of the species needing the same tank requirements and of a similar tank environment. Even if you are a beginner and starting fish keeping as a hobby, you will find caring for them simply and easily.
Rasboras are the fish belonging to the carp family. This can consist of rasboras like Harlequin rasbora, Clown rasbora, and Brilliant rasboras.
Rasboras and tetras are both schooling fish. Like tetras, rasboras also prefer aquariums with heavy plantation and ornaments to explore. Along with that, rasboras also need a good swimming space in the tank to let them swim freely.
Thus, these factors make this species a good tank mate for tetras in a community tank.
Danios are one of the freshwater schooling fish. Danios can consist of species such as Pearl Danio, Zebra Danio, Danio Kerri, Queen Danio, etc. More people like to keep zebra danio with ember tetras.
The tetras, as well as danios, have non-aggressive personalities. Danios also need to be kept in schools. You need to keep these fish in a well-planted aquarium having plenty of free-swimming space.
When it comes to diet, danios and tetras accepts dry foods as well as small frozen foods. Both tetras and danios are fast eaters. Both species need to eat 2 to 3 times a day.
Barbs can sometimes be fin nippers, and they can destroy the fins of other species in the tank. However, cherry barbs are very peaceful fish, and their compatibility with tetras are good enough for a community tank.
Cherry barbs bring great activeness and bright colorings to your tank. You will need to keep them in groups in order to cause a less stressful environment.
Cherry barbs share very similar natural conditions with the tetra fish. However, make sure that you do not keep tiger barbs as they have nature that is more aggressive.
Commonly, cichlids are known to be an aggressive species. If you want to keep these fish with tetras, then you can keep dwarf cichlids. The dwarf cichlids are compatible with peaceful fish like tetras.
You can keep dwarf cichlids in community tanks. These fish are beautiful and have features that attract many people towards your aquarium.
Make sure you do not keep big cichlids with tetra fish as bigger cichlids eat the tetras.
Killifish is one of the peaceful species for your aquarium. You can find killifish aggressive with other male killifish only. Hence, this makes killifish the best fish keep with tetras.
In a community tank, if you keep around three killifish with only one male, they will show peaceful behaviors. Killifish are best kept with tetras such as Cardinal Tetras, Neon Tetras as well as Rummy Nose Tetras.
Killifish have gorgeous patterns across their body. Since these fish are also a freshwater fish, the conditions needed for killifish and tetras are complementary. Both of these fish are hardy. Hence, it will make your work effortless.
Keeping Other Tetra Fish
One of the most asked questions is, Can you keep schooling tetras with other schooling tetras? The answer to that is, “Yes.” Tetras fish family has around 11,000 species. Adding tetras having similar characteristics with one another is a good option for tank mates.
Since the tetras come from the same family, it is very unlikely that these fish will show any aggressive behavior with their own.
Most of the tetras share similar characteristics, water conditions, and tank environments. Therefore, keeping tetras with other species of tetras can make your job very easy. Moreover, you will need to keep different tetras in different schools. This can make your aquarium environment engaged and active.
Fish To Avoid as Tetra Fish Tank Mates
Tetras do have some species that they do not get along. Some fish species do not like to share space or can bully tetras due to their sizes.
Even though there are many good species that are compatible with tetra fish, you should know about different species that you should avoid at any cost.
Here are some of the species you should avoid as tank mates for tetra fish:
As mentioned earlier in the article, most of the Barbs are aggressive. If you still want to add barbs as tank mates for tetras, you can only add Cherry Barbs.
Other species of barbs such as tiger barbs, rosy barbs, etc. have hostile nature. These species of barbs can cause problems in your tank as they can nip the fins of other fish. Hence, your tetras can get hurt and will be living in a very stressful environment.
The only Cichlids that you can house together with tetras are the Dwarf Cichlids. Other Cichlids such as Angelfish, Green Terrors, Oscars, and African Cichlids are not the best to keep with smaller tetras.
All these Cichlids show predatory behavior, which is not ideal for tetras. Hence, in order to avoid stress and injuries for your tetras, you must avoid Cichlids as tank mates
Flowerhorn fish is the ornamental fish. These fish have a huge bulky body, which itself is a red flag as tank mates for tetra fish. These fish are intimidating for smaller tetras.
Additionally, flowerhorns are not ideal companion fish. These fish are aggressive and territorial and are ideal for an isolated tank.
If tetras face any difficulty and disturbance in the tank, then the environment is not suitable for them. Tetras will not thrive in a chaotic environment.
If you have Black Phantom Tetras, Bleeding Heart Tetras, or Serpae Tetras, then you should not add Bettas as the tank mates. These tetras can be peaceful fish within their own school but can get territorial and threatening to Bettas.
Some of the tetras are active and energetic compared to bettas. Hence, bettas will not match the energy of the tetras and will get a hard time in the aquarium. The bettas will mostly spend their time swimming away from these tetras. This is not the optimal situation for any varieties of fish in the tank.
It is not a good idea to keep goldfish and tetras in the same tank. Tetras are tropical freshwater fish. Whereas goldfish need much colder water than tetras. In addition to that, goldfish are a slow swimmer, and tetras are very active swimmers.
Tetras cannot tolerate the messy nature of goldfish. Tetras have a difficult time to cope when the tank environment gets dirty. Hence, it is not recommended to keep goldfish and tetras together.
I have mentioned all the possible tank mates for your tetras. Tetras are generally peaceful fish and love a good company in the tank.
However, if you want to add other species with your tetras, it is always good to consult with experts and conduct research of your own.
Always remember to avoid larger, aggressive fish with your tetras, as they will do more harm than good. If you want a peaceful and working tank, then you should try to keep species that need similar habitat.
I hope this article has cleared most of your doubts regarding the compatibility of different species with your tetra fish. If you want to know more about individual tetras, consider checking up on our other articles.